Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by RMJL, Apr 4, 2001.

  1. NORML E-Zine
    Volume 4
    Issue 14
    April 3, 2001

    The NORML E-Zine is a free weekly compilation of major news
    items regarding marijuana policy. Text of archived stories
    are available
    on NORML's website at:


    Congressman Reintroduces Legislation to Legalize Medical

    Washington, DC: Representative Barney Frank (D-MA)
    legislation today in the 107th Congress to
    provide for the medical use
    of marijuana. The bill is titled
    the "States' Rights to Medical Marijuana

    "People who are suffering from severe or terminal illnesses

    who find a measure of relief from marijuana ought to be able
    to use it
    without being treated like criminals," Frank
    announced. "This bill offers
    an opportunity for my
    conservative colleagues to decide if they really
    want to be
    consistent on the question of states' rights or if they think

    the federal government should tell states what to do."

    The legislation states:

    "No provision of the Controlled Substances
    Act [or] ... the
    Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act shall prohibit
    otherwise restrict --
    (A) the prescription or recommendation
    of marijuana by a
    physician for medical use,
    (B) an individual
    from obtaining and using marijuana
    from a prescription or recommendation
    of marijuana by
    a physician for medical use by such individual, or

    (C) a pharmacy from obtaining and holding marijuana for the
    of marijuana by a physician for medical use
    under applicable state
    law in a State in which marijuana
    may be prescribed or recommended
    by a physician for medical
    use under applicable State law."

    The legislation reschedules marijuana from Schedule I to
    Schedule II
    under federal law. This reclassification properly
    recognizes marijuana's
    medical utility and enables physicians
    to legally prescribe it under controlled
    circumstances while
    maintaining restrictions on recreational use.

    Since 1996, nine states - Alaska, Arizona, California,
    Colorado, Hawaii,
    Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington - have
    implemented laws allowing seriously
    ill patients to possess
    and use medical marijuana under a doctor's supervision.

    While these laws protect patients from state criminal marijuana
    they do not shield patients from federal
    prosecution, nor do they allow
    a state legislature to
    legally distribute medical marijuana. The legislation

    introduced in Congress today would afford patients legal
    protection under
    federal law, and permit those states that
    wish to establish medical marijuana
    distribution systems
    the legal authority to do so.

    NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup called the
    proposal a streamlined
    effort to get marijuana to those
    who require it.

    "Historically, voters
    and state legislatures have been more
    receptive to the medical marijuana
    issue than the federal
    government," Stroup explained. "This legislation
    this paradigm and effectively gets the federal government out

    of the way of those states that wish to make marijuana available
    as a medicine."

    Stroup said that the Supreme Court's apparent skepticism
    regarding whether
    patients or medical marijuana providers may
    legally raise the defense of
    "medical necessity" in federal
    marijuana cases makes the need to reform
    federal law more
    pertinent than ever. "Judging from the questions raised
    several of the justices, it appears likely the Supreme Court
    may reject
    the medical necessity defense in federal cases," he
    said. "Therefore,
    passage of this legislation by Congress is
    crucial. It will enact federal
    protections to safeguard patients
    who are using marijuana medicinally under
    their doctor's
    supervision, and will provide an opportunity for states
    establish their own legal, regulated medical marijuana
    systems to supply medicine to those who need it."

    Joining Frank in support of this act are Reps. Tammy Baldwin
    Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), John Conyers (D-MI), Peter
    DeFazio (D-OR), Jerrold
    Nadler (D-NY), John Olver (D-MA),
    Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA),
    and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

    For more information, please contact Keith Stroup,
    NORML Executive
    Director, at (202) 483-5500. For additional
    information, please contact
    Peter Kovar at the office of
    Rep. Barney Frank at (202) 225-5931.

    Support NORML's efforts to change marijuana policy and educate
    the public
    to alternatives to marijuana prohibition. You can
    join or donate online


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